What do you do if you have been out of work for 99 weeks, your unemployment is running out and you have no prospects? What do you do if you are 30-something, have two kids at home, and the thought of not having a flexible schedule bums you out? What do you do if you don’t like working for someone else and long to do be your own boss?
You join the ranks of the self-employed, that’s what.
In the past generation there has been a transformation of work that has enabled more people than ever to become successful small-scale entrepreneurs and join the self-employed revolution. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, websites, apps, hardware and software have made it so that any small business can look big and make money.
And it turns out that more and more people are in fact joining the ranks of the entrepreneurial class.
Jobs are in scarce supply, and underemployment is at an all-time high. Things look bleak. But, truth be told, there has never been a better time for individuals to start new businesses. Taking up entrepreneurship is now an extremely doable means to overcome unemployment and underemployment, and perhaps even get rich.
Whereas a traditional office or retail space was a necessity less than a decade ago, today, thanks to the rise of virtual office services and co-working spaces, working from home or Starbucks is the new norm.
But of course, all of this begs the question – how exactly do you do it? When someone decides to go the self-employment route, the process usually goes something like this:
I’m ready to start my own business because [I was fired, I’m out of work, I hate my boss . . .]
I finally get to do my own thing!
I am so happy that I am going to be [a web designer, graphic artist, florist, sales rep, etc.]
Uh, how are you going to get business?
The fact is, when people become self-employed, they may know a lot about the particular business they are going into, but more often than not they don’t know a lot about business itself. What do you do when you own your own business, or want to, and don’t know much about marketing advertising, insurance, taxes and the rest?
There are many online resources you could go to, including SBA.gov and SCORE, and if you would allow me a shameless plug, I would like to suggest that a new site that I have been working on for the past year is a worthy addition to this list:
TheSelfEmployed.com is a Web portal for all things self-employed. The site aims to be your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know to have a fun and successful entrepreneurial journey. At the site, you will find relevant articles, how-to videos, podcasts, forums, and special offers that are all deigned specifically for the self-employed.
But whether you use this site or not, congratulations if you too are joining the army of the self-employed. If you do it right, you are on the cusp of the new way of work, and hopefully you will have a blast.
Meet our Founder and CEO
Often called, “the most popular small business columnist in America,” Steve is the senior small business columnist for USA TODAY and the author of 17 books including the best-selling The Small Business Bible.
Steve is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, ABC News, Yahoo, and many other outlets. A highly popular and entertaining speaker on the lecture circuit, he regularly speaks around the country and around the world about small business strategies and global trends in business. You can find his speaker site here.
Steve is also often asked to be the small business spokesperson for companies like Microsoft, Bank of America, Web.com, Staples, etc. He sits on the advisory boards of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, SCORE, and P&G Pro.
Finally, Steve is the president of The Strauss Group, Inc: Strauss Law Firm, Strauss Seminar Co., and Strauss Syndication. The Strauss Group creates cutting-edge business content for everyone from Fortune 100 companies to small chambers of commerce. His latest venture is this tech startup, TheSelfEmployed.com. He graduated from UCLA, the Claremont Graduate School, the Coro Foundation, and the McGeorge School of Law.
He also hates ketchup.